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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:55 am 
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Long but hopefully a good, educational, insightful and helpful read.

Before I get into anything I want to say that the information I am about to share is based on MY EXPERIENCES and MY OPINIONS. I have read, heard, discussed many different things when it comes to SUB and while many have very detailed knowledge on the drug and some are very pro SUB, others have been at the other end of the spectrum. To put it simply, I feel our own experiences and feelings on SUB are just that, our own. Not wrong or right, just how we feel. That being said, I used to post here often then decided to give it a rest and concentrate on getting my situation better without any outside influence. Looking back, I wish I would of stayed in contact with some of the members on the board because this can be a very useful resource and an outstanding support tool. So here we go..........

I was always that guy who did not want to take anything for pain. Headaches? Deal with em. Dislocated shoulder? Doc asked me if I wanted something for the pain and I told him no. They gave me something to put me under but nothing for the pain. I tell you this not because I want a cookie or a that a boy but because all it took was me having a few beers one evening and a buddy asking if I wanted to try a Norco 10/325. My answer of course was "No, I don't take drugs." Then the peer pressure started, my guard was down, I agreed to a half of one since it was described to me as something that would not only take any pain that I had away but would also make me feel happy but still be able to function. Then? Hook line and sinker. I was hooked. That half turned into a whole and that whole turned into what would eventually be a 25-30 pill per day habit of my drug of choice. Norc 10/325's. My addiction was alive and well even when I was sober and not taking anything. Meaning, my Mom and my Dad were both addicts and alcoholics. I grew up watching them get sloppy drunk, engage in violent and mean behavior so there was no way I would repeat that cycle right? Wrong. I really do believe that I would of been ok and would of never got into the amount of misuse that I did because I never took anymore than 3 pills at one time and no more than 9 a day. Sometimes less but never more. That was until I broke my leg, had surgery and had them available to me like never before. Before that I was getting my 1 script for 100 per month filled from a doc a buddy referred me to so it worked. But then I had the original doc, my primary care, my ortho doc and eventually another doc. As I mentioned above, I went from an average intake to an excessive intake in a very short amount of time. All the while convincing myself and my wife that the pain was severe enough to rationalize the amount I was taking. Here is the kicker, I did not educate myself on the drug or any of the other drugs I was taking at the time along with drinking alcohol excessively. I thank god that I did not die because while drinking a bottle of wine a night, taking soma with the norcos and then sometimes xanax? Like I said, I was lucky. It was not until Heath Ledger passed away and I read the story on his autopsy that I looked back on what I was doing and felt like such an idiot but you know what? The bigger issue was the my primary care doc. He knew how much I drank because I told him yet he had me on benzos, muscle relaxers and norcos all at the same time. When I brought this up to him it was met with an "Oh, well I thought you said you only drank socially." Yeah. Socially as in 3-4 glasses of wine, beer or hard liquor per night at that time. My point is, I was very lucky and we all should stress the importance of investigating and questioning everything that is prescribed to us. Doctor's make mistakes. Sometimes permanent non-fixable mistakes that we pay the price for. I could of been Heath Ledger and my children, my wife, family, friends.....all could of been minus one good person because of his selfish, idiotic and stubborn ways.

My first pill was in 2005. I broke my leg in 2007. I started sub in 2008. I was taking 25-30 pills per day just to keep from being dope sick. The doctor's were catching on so I was having to buy them off the street. The final straw was when I had to take my rent money and go buy 100 Norcs for 500 dollars. As I tried to explain to my wife why I needed to do what I did the look on her face made me feel like an absolute failure. That next morning I awoke to her looking at me and crying and asking me to please stop because she was scared that one day I would never wake up. She, like myself, had read about Heath Ledger and when she saw I was taking some of the same things and drinking it scared the hell out of her. AFter that, I convinved myself and her that I would ween down with what was left and quit. Which I did. The next 4 days and nights were, as many of you know that have tried to jump off pills, HORRIBLE! The depression, the lack of sleep, the lack of appetite, the shaking, the sweating the twitching, the sneezing.....I know most everyone here has gone through it and some even worse. Day 5 came around and I said "F this crap! I am gonna make some calls and get some pills to get out of this funk." God works in mysterious ways as they say because everyone that I knew that had pills available now did not all of a sudden. No doc would prescribe me anything, the ER's in my area knew my old migraine trick to get a shot of Demerol and so I hit bottom. I made a call and arranged to buy some heroin to smoke. Just before that deal was to go down a buddy of mine called me back and offered me some weed and a number to a doctor that prescribed this stuff that he said helped his wife quit popping pills. The weed took the edge off as did the Xanax that I had left over but I was still hurting and when I finally got that appointment a few days later I was through the worst of it but still felt like crap. I was prescribed 32MG of sub per day and upon dropping that first tablet under my tongue and feeling "Normal" for the first time in a very long time I was happier than anything. Things started to improve, I was back in the gym, running around doing things with my kids, making love to my wife, was not scared or worried about where my next high was going to come from, how I would have to pay, how far I would have to drive or any of the other things we addicts worry about when looking for our next fix. I was good. I was good at that time but what would develop later is really the point of this post.

In the next year 08-09 I learned that I could function just fine on 8MG per day. The year after that,2010, I went down to 4 MG per day. In December of 2010 I had this great plan. I was taking a vacation, I wanted to enjoy it a lil more than normal so the addict in me devised this brilliant plan. I would stop sub for 36 hours, I would then take 3-4 Norcos every 4-6 hours and get a good buzz going that I had not had in a long time. Thank god that buzz never happened and my dumb ass learned the hard way. I wasted money because I got the pills of the street, I lied to my wife about it, I rationalized it in my mind again as it was just a "treat" for doing so well for the past 2 years. So I go back into withdrawl, got no high what so ever from my norco pill popping vacation adventure and really just solidified that I was and will always be an addict.
In 2011 I was at 2MG per day and towards the end of 2011 after a failed plan to ween myself off in the middle of the year I was stable at 1MG per day. This January I hit .50 MG and was not doing well so went back up to 1MG. At the end of this Feb 2012 I had an epidural injection. The doc knew my history and would not give me the normal meds they give to everyone for this procedure at this office which were fentanyl and versed. I went to my sub doc and I could not believe what came out of his mouth. "Well, if they are not going to give you anything then let's give you something to relax and something to take the edge off should there be any tenderness or pain as a result of the procedure." The script? 10 2MG Xanax and 10 10/325 Norcos. He asked me if I was ok with that and after thinking for a minute I said "Yeah. If I don't need the pain meds then I'll give them to my wife's Mom who has chronic pain and take vicodins." Sounded like a great plan at the time. So the procedure goes down, there is discomfort but no bad pain. But in my mind I am curious to see if because I was at such a low dose and because I had not taken any sub for 36 hours if I could get any relief or maybe even a high. The good part is, I did not abuse them. I took them as directed. 2 pills every 4-6 hours until gone. But, I really did not need them. It pissed me off because it just proved to me again, "Dude, you are an addict." My fear is this, I am aiming to be off of Sub by June 1st. But I have tried multiple times and failed. Failed in the sense of not being able to hang in there with the less violent but longer withdrawl. Especially the depression and lethargic state I fell into. But also failed in the sense of I thought I was good. I really thought I would not take those pain meds. Yeah I took them as prescribed but I really did not need them and I know if I would of gotten that high that it's a strong possibilty that I would be headed towards the opiate abuse level I was at before. But here are the reasons I need to be off of Suboxone. First of all I developed Central Sleep Apnea while taking Suboxone. I have read many other stories of Bup users being diagnosed with this. For those that don't know what this is, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when your wind pipe closes off because it's relaxed while you sleep and you snore loudly, struggle to breath but the attempt to breath is there. With Central Apnea there is no attempt to breath. The signal that is normally sent for you to take a breath is interupted. It's scary stuff. I work shift work and got off work one Saturday morning at 6AM and my teenage daughter was in my bed since she had slept with my wife the night before. My wife was up and going into work so I kissed her goodbye, hopped in bed and woke up to my daughter shaking me saying "Daddy, breathe!" I was mad as hell for being woke up not knowing what was going on so told her "Be quiet, go to sleep, your having a bad dream." She then went and got the video camera (Smart Girl-Guess that's from her Mom's Side :lol: ) and video taped me. When I woke up she said "Daddy, don't get mad but after I woke you up and you told me to go back to sleep I got the video camera and filmed you sleeping." I was thinking, what the heck is wrong with this girl and why is she filming me sleeping? I did not even remember her waking me up the first time nor did I remember the 8-9 times over the next 2 hours that I was awakened by me taking a big gasping breath because I had stopped breathing. There I was sleeping and you can see my chest just stop moving. No effort at all. One pause was almost 20 seconds. At the end of it all I went and had a sleep study done (October of last year) and after confirming the only drug I take, Sub, the absence of alcohol since I saw that video and their documented sleep apnea episodes recorded while I slept in the sleep lab, I had (26 arousals during a 5 hour period. The least being an 8 second puase and the worst? A 44 second pause). 2 different neurologists said that while it is possible that because of my opiate abuse back in the day that I may have this sleep disorder as a result of that, they both truly feel that, based upon their own research on the drug, case studies, etc. That Sub is the reason for the Central Sleep Apnea episodes. Sleep Apnea is called the silent killer for a reason. Since being diagnosed with it I have to wear a mask when I sleep. Not very attractive for the wife and a pain in the ass to sleep with. You wake up with marks on your face from the thing being strapped to it. The machine is loud. It wakes my wife and myself up. I just turned 40 and am in pretty good shape and very active so this is really a pain in the ass but necessary if I don't want to stop breathing in my sleep.

So for those out there that are looking to Sub as a permanent fix all just understand that it is possible that the drug can come along with some pretty crappy side effects. Along with the Central Sleep Apnea diagnosis my Testosterone levels have dropped to 40% of what they should be for a man my age. Along with that drop comes a decreased sex drive, energy and awareness. On top of that, the feeling of being in withdrawl to feeling "Normal" upon taking your first dose is a word that defines that feeling at that time. I know for myself Sub makes me cloudy. No you are not in withdrawl but from my own experience and from talking to others, you are not quite right. A little hazy is a way to explain it. My memory has gone to hell. My energy levels are hit and miss. (Again, I was a very active, physically and sexually, man and even with the prescribed Testosterone Gel, it has never been the same. Last but not least, should you be on a normal dose (4MG> per day) and need emergency surgery that requires pain management? Good luck. Many doctors are not comfortable giving the increased amount of opiate meds required for sub users to have any pain relief. Now if it's planned, that's different. You can ween down, your Sub doc and Op Doc can talk and come up with a pain relief plan but in an emergency? You are in trouble. The cost is absolutely insane and less and less insurances, mine included, Aetna, are not covering it anymore and if they do they want you to attend a rehab or at least Aetna did with me. If I go into work and ask for a month off and they find out it's rehab? I am automatically put on the drug watch program and tested weekly and put under a microscope I don't want to be under. There are so many negatives that can come along with Sub that are not discussed in detail wtih you before taking it. Yes there is a very big positive but many negative side effects.

Everyone is different. What we took, how much we took, etc. Therefore I truly beleive that everyone should make a plan going into this and stick to it. Meaning, don't just get on Sub and plan to stay on. I mean if you have been an opiate addict all your life and know for a fact that if you were not on sub you could very easily relapse and die because of your level of addiction? By all means, long term, life long useage of Sub is probably necessary. But I know of some people who were taking half of the pills per day I was taking and are 2-3 years into sub and are experienceing some of the same side effects that I am. I really don't think that's necessary. If the goal is to become drug free then at some point I'd hope we'd all want to be well enough to be without any full/partial opiate in our system. So please, before starting sub, get a good plan tailored to your needs with your sub doc, attend a program or counseling to help you get through it and utilize the tools, such as this chat room to assist you with getting clean. If I could do it all over again I would of rode it out the first time and never taken Sub and only because of the side effects. That being said, as I noted above, I am an addict. I have tried to get high on pills once during my 4 year stretch of Sub then recently I took them as prescribed but a part of me was hoping to get that high once again so I know I'm not 100 %. I know I'm not ready to stop treatment but I would like to be. One thing I never really took advantage of was the mental side of my addiction. Meaning, I never talked with anyone professional or program to help with that side of things. I do know that I will always be an addict and I can honestly say that Sub had done a ton of good for me as I listed above. It did give me my life back. But it also took some things away from me and left me with some long term damage that I may or may not be able to fix. I'll only know once I am off of Sub for good. Until then, I hope and pray that all you are successful in recovery all be it short or long term and I really hope any new Sub users that read this do what I did not. Come up with a plan to get off of Sub over whatever period of time you and your doc feel is right for you. Along with that, get professional help as far as counseling. I just started and I really enjoy it and have learned some pretty cool stuff. Last, use this chat room and all the tools in it. Dr. J is the man. Yes he is pro sub and says some things I really don't agree with but he also is a god send and has helped me and many other people get well. Good luck and god bless.


*I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not bashing Sub. I am only writing about my experiences with it and what my opinion is of it as far as short/long/lifetime useage of it. Everyone's situation is different. I just felt that if I could put something out there that hit home with even one person that benefited from it then that's a good thing. I am not a Doctor, nor am I attempting to play one in suboxforum.com's chat room. I just feel very strongly that Sub and the recovery process should be tailored for each and every person differently and in most cases Sub should not be a long or life long drug to use as many people are currently are. With will power, support and conviction I beleive many of us can and will be drug free.* :D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Thank you for posting this. I just got on sub a week ago today and fort 3 of the nightsI was in bed, I did exactly what you described. I have never caught myself doing this in my life. When going to sleep, I wake myself up gasping for a breath. It happened like 10 times the first time, and then the 2nd and 3rd night it happened again a few times. It scared me because I don't know how long I went without breathing each time, and I have never done this before. All I know is that I woke up taking a huge breath in every time it happened. I was pretty sure it's the sub that caused this because, like I said, I've never done this before. But I don't remember hearing anyone else ever say this has happended to them, so I thought maybe it wasn't the sub. But now that you have said this happened to you, I do think it has to be because I am putting this new med in my body. I was already planning on trying to do a rapid taper since it's been 7 days since I've taken a Norco and it's probably all out of my system by now. So I've been on 6mg since last Saturday and I already cut down to 4mgs today. So I'm going to try to continue to taper before I get too far into this med to where I'm physically dependent on it too.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Hey jleets,

Good to hear from you again. I've been wondering how you've been doing and it's nice to know you're OK.

BTW, Raiders stink!! :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:56 am 
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@ Taurus: Obviously I am no professional on this issue as far as sleep apnea and Sub but is it possible you had central apnea before this? If not and this is the first time you are noticing it I would stop Sub and just get clean. If you stop sub now the WD should not be as bad as it would be if you continued or went back to norcos. You gotta ask yourself, do I get sub free and breathe or deal with it. It is a pain in the ass. Believe me. Good luck. Keep me posted.

@ Romeo: Been ok man. Dealing with it. Sick of sub. Sick of sleep apnea and wearing a nasty ugly mask on my face. Wish I never would of taking that first pill but you know what? I did. So now I gotta deal with it and man up. Sitting steady around 1MG per day. Anything less seems to have me sneezing like a circus freak and feeling like crap. How you been?
BTW, RAIDERS RULE!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:47 am 
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i know I haven't done this breathing thing before. It jerked me out of my sleep pretty hard each time I did it, so I think I probably would've felt it if I ever did it prior to this. Although I read that a lot of people do it without knowing it, and someone in their family points it out to them. But I am definitely not going back to Norco. I have already tapered my sub quite a bit. Started at 8mg, went down to 6mg within a couple days, went to 4mg this weekend, and now this week I am at 2mg. I think I do need to stay on sub for a while because it has helped me with much more than just my addiction...like depression, anxiety, pain, overall outlook on the future...but I definitely have my eyes open regarding the side effects and how hard it might be to get off later on down the road. It has only been a week and a half, so I will decide what to do for sure in the near future. Thanks for making me aware of this sleep apnea thing though. You are the only one I've read a post from who said they had this happen to them.


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